.eu domain speculation

When the .eu domains became available to the general public, I decided I did not want forret.eu. That means that the domain was available to be grabbed by someone else, and indeed it has been. I received the following email today:
.EU domains businessmodel
This has all the professional charm of the mafia offering “protection”. The guy hides behind the Gmail of Luxembourg, kmail.lu . A DNS search shows me that KJ stands for Kurt Janusch from G-1 Ltd, 175-177 Newland Avenue, HU5 2EP, Hull UK. His name also shows up in a Eurid dispute (Eurid is the registrar that manages the .eu domains), but with an address in Germany. In another dispute with Altova, he is considered to have registered a domain name “without rights or legitimate interest in the name and in bad faith”.

Further, there were almost 3,000 other eu. domain names registered and offered for sale by the same “seller”, Mr. Kurt Janusch who, nevertheless, acts on behalf of various companies in this regard

Mr. Janusch is what they call a “domain squatter” or cybersquatter. He is of the same moral fiber as US counterparts like Jeff Burgar and John Zuccarini (the latter has been arrested).

Bring a scarce resource onto the market and what do you get: speculation. This is one of the reasons why Bob Parsons from GoDaddy refers to the launch of .eu domains as the .EU Landrush fiasco.

Our customers are the perverts, not us

Cain Ransbottyn, de opperpooier van het InternetIn the newspaper De Morgen this weekend, there was a full page article about a successful Belgian internet entrepreneur: Cain Ransbottyn.

Cain is the founder and CEO of Realroot, hoster of a large collection of high-bandwidth, and often NSFW, websites – including Zattevrienden, Zattemadammen, Wijfzonderlijf, Gallerygalore and Thisislife. He is known for being a shrewd business man and not the most subtle of conversationalists. But the way he speaks about his pr0n-consuming users in this article sets a new high for self-confessed customer contempt.
Continue reading Our customers are the perverts, not us

More globalisation, please

A while back I bought the whole suite of Edward Tufte books: “The visual display of quantitative data“, “Envisioning Information” and “Visual Explanations“.

Today my copy of “Beautiful evidence” arrived in the mail. Actually a Belgian Post employee came to drop it off, because I had to pay 10 euro douane/customs. For a book of $52, that is an unpleasant extra 25%.

Beautiful Evidence: by Edward Tufte

The legislation that was printed on the back of the receipt states that any item from outside the EU, with a value higher than 22 euro, or not conform to ‘small letter mail of non-commercial kind’ (up to 45 euro), or containing goods from outside the EU should be presented to customs. Standard fee: 10 euro. I have just ordered a t-shirt from SomaFM ($50), I wonder what customs will think of that.

Continue reading More globalisation, please

Please make this pay

One of the memes going round for the moment is a guy whose girlfriend will let him live his dream (a threesome) if his website pleasemakethiswork.com receives 5.000.000 hits by the end of this year. It’s a bit like the million-dollar-page but with a (sexy) twist. I first read it through Littl’ Q (where she gets her info from, that’s a mystery) and when I saw it hitting the Belgian mainstream Standaard Blog, I took a look at the page.

Looks authentic

First impressions

As one would say in French: “plutot sympa”. You see the couple: Richard Green, an ex-cricket player and Rachel Greenwood both smiling in the camera while they draw up the paperwork. They look like ‘regular people’. The site is very simple (1 page, 1 image of the contract, and a small home video of the two confirming the deal) and the layout looks like it might have been done by a non-webdesigner. To be honest, real beginners tend to be overenthusiastic with fonts and colors but this site is not like that.
Continue reading Please make this pay

Bouncing email

You've got mail
If you have sent me an email in the last two days, you will likely have gotten a bounce like “Undelivered Mail Returned to Sender“. Please resend your message because your mail server is indeed right: my email addresses @forret.com were unavailable this Friday and Saturday.

The reason: I was too late for the renewal of my domain smoothouse.org so it expired, my Coditel broadband connection was down so I didn’t notice that my mails stopped coming in until Saturday. I did some emergency DNS adjustments, changed those, and then still did some other stuff, and so this is the situation 24 hours later:

  • my email addresses @forret.com are now served by Dreamhost and they should work. (when all DNS updates have propagated through this universe)
  • my DNS management for forret.com is now also at Dreamhost, which makes life a lot easier for me now (e.g. creating barcamp.forret.com was a piece of cake – with an external DNS that’s always a bit more tricky)
  • my web tools are now at web.forret.com/tools instead of at www.forret.com. In short: the domain www.forret.com can not be hosted by someone else than Dreamhost, but my web tools have to run on Windows (ASP), which my Dreamhost account does not have. Hence: web.forret.com, which is my Windows hosting account. However, since www.forret.com now runs on Apache, I can do automatic redirects with mod-rewrite, so that *should* be transparent to users.
  • I’ve lost my domain smoothouse.org – must check with Hostbasket if I can get it back during the DNS holding period.
  • my Smoothouse content can now be found on xampled.com/smoothouse (e.g. my collection of house podcasts)
  • my Smoothpod Mashup podcast has moved to www.xampled.com/smoothpod.
    UPDATE : and it has now moved to mashup.xampled.com
  • The Webjay wizard has moved to my web tools, where it belonged anyway.
  • my HTTP header analyzer has also moved to the web tools, together with it’s companion the Squid Cache policy checker. (I bet you don’t have one of those, right?)
  • I have at last been able to give my sister and father back their @forret.com address (long story). And I gave my mom a new one, for Mother’s Day!

So: please resend your messages, certainly if they were about Barcamp Brussels.

Bluehost vs Dreamhost

As you might have read in my Migrating to WordPress article, I am now the proud owner of both a Bluehost and Dreamhost account. These two shared hosting providers have similar strong offerings for a similar low price, but they’re nevertheless different. Let’s compare both:

The raw numbers

$6.95/mon (2 years prepaid) $7.95/mon (2 years prepaid)
  • 10 GB storage
  • 250GB/mon bandwidth
  • 20 GB storage
  • 1000GB/mon bandwidth
  • 6 domains, 20 subdomains
  • 50 MySQL, 50 Postgres DB
  • 2500 email addresses
  • PHP, Perl, Python, Ruby on Rails
  • unlimited domains
  • unlimited MySQL DBs
  • unlimited email addresses
  • PHP, Ruby on Rails
CPanel/Fantastico: WordPress, pMachine, Nucleus, Drupal, Joomla, PhpNuke, Typo3, phpBB2, OS Commerce, Coppermine, Gallery, PHPList, Advanced Poll, PHProject, SohoLaunch, PhpWiki, PhpAdsNew, WebCalendar, Moodle, … Home-made: WordPress, phpBB, Advanced Poll, osCommerce, MediaWiki, Joomla, Gallery, WebCalendar

Continue reading Bluehost vs Dreamhost

IVI: Internet voor Iedereen

Internet voor iedereenIf your (Belgian) parents or grand-parents want to buy a cheap PC to get started on the Web, tell them to hold back for a couple more days. The Federal Government – through FEDICT – has set up a program to sponsor a complete package of PC + software + broadband + training for a sharp price. The title of the project: IVI or “Internet voor Iedereen” – the launch is planned for next week, April 18th.
Continue reading IVI: Internet voor Iedereen

Barcamp Brussels: May 2006

Barcamp Brussel
Last year we organised a fairly successfull blogger’s dinner in Brussels, and now we’re gonna try something different:
next May we will have a Barcamp Brussels event.


Barcamp NY
(photo by miss_rogue)

Barcamp was first organised in LA by Chris Messina and some buddies.

BarCamp is an ad-hoc un-conference born from the desire for people to share and learn in an open environment. It is an intense event with discussions, demos, and interaction from attendees.

It is not your regular conference:

  • No spectators, only participants: Attendees must give a demo, a session, or help with one. All presentions are scheduled the day they happen. Prepare in advance, but come early to get a slot on the wall.
  • No fixed agenda: talks, demos and topics are proposed by the attendees when they arrive on a central whiteboard.

Continue reading Barcamp Brussels: May 2006